Time for celebration

Two weeks ago the 2012 Rose City Yarn Crawl began.  On Thursday morning (March 1st), I jumped in the car with Dad – my chauffer and long-suffering photography assistant – and began the Crawl.  My goal was twofold: 1), to see in person how each of the shops was fairing and get feedback from participants and 2), to get high-def photos using my Nikon D90 to use on the Crawl and in next year’s promotional efforts.

What I discovered was that, even with only a month and a half to prepare (I literally started on January 16th), the participation went beyond any of the shop owners’ dreams.  Traffic was double to triple over last year and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive on every front – participants, retailers, and wholesalers were very excited about the visibility and accessibility of information this year, the prizes, and the many events.

I’m still reeling from the numbers, which we are actually still compiling, and the hugs I got at every stop.  The best part, for me, was visiting every shop and seeing how interesting and unique they all really, truly are.  I also got to see some old friends along the way.

Dad and I visited 12 stores over Thursday and Friday, and then Opus took over as my driver, (slavedriver), and camera assistant on Saturday for the final 7.  Seriously, she was a task master and time-obsessed.  But, with their help, I managed to visit each and every store over 3 days and get some fabulous photos at every stop.

I took dozens upon dozens of photographs, to see my two faves from each shop check out the 2012 Rose City Yarn Crawl set on flickr or check out the individual shop albums on Facebook for them all.  Because there were so many to choose from, I only selected two from each shop to put in my flickr photostream.  In this post, I wanted to share the alpha, from my first stop at Make One in Milwaukie:

Make One

… and the omega, from Kathy’s Knit Korner in Forest Grove:

Kathy's Knit Korner

I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to check out each shop (either on flickr or Facebook), because they are all so very special.  It was a great experience and I am just beside myself over the success of it.  We’re already discussing plans for next year, and I can’t wait!

Where’s fyberduck?

All over Portland, really.  I’ve been way too busy of late and have been a terrible blogger as a result.  Though, admittedly, that’s not the whole story.  Long-time blog readers (hey, guys) will know that I have had an ongoing battle with depression (a.k.a. Major Depressive Disorder).  The past several months have been terrible as, somehow, my body chemistry changed almost overnight and I started developing weird side effects (rash, nausea, etc) to my antidepressant.  To top it off, I’m also suffering increasingly frequent migraines (Excedrin is my new best friend) and a bizarre vitamin deficiency, plus some weird metabolic thing.

Super fun.  I’ve seen the insides of way too many doctor’s offices lately.  But, as of yesterday, we have a diagnosis (of sorts – more tests to run!) and are working our way forward.

So, what has the blog missed in the past 4 weeks?  (Apart from the doctor’s offices?)  Here’s a quick run-down, in chronological order…

Sock Summit 2011:

Distracted by the back cover
Rumpled fyberduck & the newly releases Shibui Texture (hey, it was after an all-day class!)

Pointy gold
Switching to the new (sweeeeeet) Signature Needles

Woven Socks class
Houndstooth Socks – the beginning (the afore-mentioned all-day class)

Oak’s Bottom Park, Portland:
Sunflower-hat-1b
Helianthus (hat), pattern coming soon (no, really)

Oregon Zoo, Portland:
DSC_0057
Asian Elephant

DSC_0013
Meloncholy Lemur  (oh, how I know how this poor gal feels)

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Portland:
Young male Wood Duck
Young male Wood Duck (highly endangered and oh-so-pretty)

Caged tree & ferns
Caged Maidenhair ferns (okay, not really)

And that’s the quick and dirty.

The next few weeks are going to involve fun medical experiments* and some adjusting.  During all of this, I’ve been trying desperately (and failing) to get some Rose City Knits patterns completed.  They’re close (so close!), and the next one, Helianthus, should be out in a couple of weeks.  But, I’m behind schedule and not too pleased about.

C’est la vie, I suppose.

Doesn’t mean I have to like it.  And I won’t.  I’m angry with my body (and mind) and really annoyed at how they’re both being so difficult.  If it were possible, I’d put them in time out.  Since it’s not, I’ll just have to content myself with ranting on the Interwebs and sulking.

It’s a good thing I knit, or we’d be in a world of trouble right now :)

Until next time, where I will DEFINTELY finally post about the cool gizmo I found, they better play nice.

*Well, more like experiments in medication tolerance.

S’ma birthday…

image

image

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And I’ll ignore it if I want to.  Big ‘Thank You’ to everyone who sent me well-wishes, though :)

This is another fly-by post (via the droid), so it’ll be short while I wait for soup. 

The knitted patchwork rabbit (et al)?  Saw ‘im in the window of Anthropologie last night and just had to share. Too cute, right?  The whole display was like an explosion of hand-knits.

But now I must away.  Tomato soup beckons.

Lazy blogger.

Actually, more like tired blogger. Keeping up with an almost-4yr-old is hard. Especially when we have a water park, ice cream, cows, horsies, picking fruits and vegetables, swimming at the beach, and heaven only can recount whatelse within the same 24 hours. So, in lieu of an actual post with a central theme and words that are strung together in a sensible fashion, I bring you 50 pictures.

A & T Visit (August 2010)-34

Going to the beach with Opus tomorrow. I’m very sad that I’m leaving before the girls, though, but it’s kind of unavoidable at this point. Oh, well. Mum and Dad can see them off in style. Check back for an update from the coast!

On the sunny side

Quite literally, this weekend.  Let’s see, positive-ness?

  1. Finished my Sev[en]circle scarf this afternoon, with three yards of yarn left (eek!)
  2. Am soaking big Sis’ b-day socks (admittedly late) to block in 15 mins (woot)
  3. Got five, count ’em, FIVE loads of laundry done today
  4. Figured out how to upsize and downsize several patterns that I have delayed releasing, since they were single sized.  Ha!  Of course, that means all new rounds of test knitting…
  5. Um… two days of sunlight in a row?  Love it!!
  6. Spent most of yesterday basking.

Here, at Tanner Springs Park:

Tanner Springs ParkLovely.

Wherein we saw a Black-chinned Hummingbird, a Song Sparrow, a Barn Swallow, and a Rough-legged Hawk.  All in the middle of the Pearl.  Crazy.  Anyway, Opus and I spent three or four hours there knitting (and designing, me) in the rarest of natural resources in Oregon, sunlight.

Which is why I am noticeably freckelly right now, as seen in Sev[en]circle FO shot:

Finished my sev[en]circle (obligatory cell shot)

Wow, right?  Project specs, just for the sake of ’em:

  • Pattern: Sev[en]circle by assemblage/ Kirsten Johnstone
  • Yarn: The Fibre Co.’s Canopy Fingering in “Macaw”
  • Modifications: Went with the knit cast on instead of the back-loop
  • Notes: I used almost all of the 200 yards per skein of my Canopy, so you might want to take the yardage on the pattern with a grain of salt.

And, if that isn’t enough knitting-ness for you, I have ANOTHER sneak peek inside my upcoming sock book! This time we’ve got the men’s sock pattern, Ankeny, based off of old Fishermen’s sweaters:

(I couldn’t resist… Captain Ankeny, get it?)

Lastly, before I run (must fold more laundry and do, ugh, ironing) remember Birdie?  We-ell, s/he might just have come back!  Last week,  a fledgling sparrow flew into the store when I opened the front door.

S/he didn’t want to leave either – we had to catch it with a towel (again) and release it outside.

After a silly informal poll on the Knit Purl blog, we have decided that the fledgling was Birdie (if only because we say so).  Feel free to disagree if you think otherwise :)

I’ll be back later (this week) with some interesting news.  Until then, what do you think of the new blog layout?  I was getting sick of the old one cutting off pictures and stuff…

Toodles!

Tahiti is looking really good.

Life is still really crazy but seems to be calming down a bit.  Nevertheless, I continue to fantasize about hopping a plane and escaping to a tropical island (warmth! sun!) where no one will find me.  Sounds lovely, right?

Eh.  I’d have to find my passport.

Anyway.  I went outside to take some pix this afternoon and discovered something interesting.  Did you know sage is an evergreen?

february-greenery

Clearly it must be, as this plant survived being buried alive in three feet of snow and is obviously flourishing in February.  And Dad wanted to empty out the pots before the move.  Ha.

While I was out there I got pix of my now finished Esperanza Scarf:

esperanza-scarf

And a closeup of the textured stitch pattern…

esperanza-closeup

Info:

  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Company “Esperanza” in Jane Addams.  1 skein, 280 yds.
  • Pattern: made it up with a pattern from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
  • Needles: US 11 9″ straights

Loved the yarn a lot.  So now I’m harboring a deep lust for the 4 skeins of Clara Bow we have in stock – maybe a vest or lap blanket?  Any excuse will work, really (this should tell you something as I HATE bulky yarns, generally).

Anyway.  Onto an ongoing projects that’s living up to its name.  My backstabbing socks:

backstabber-socks

and cables:

backstabber-detail

Grr.  I started on this yarn, intending to make a pair for my SIL Karen (I’m visiting in 10 days and don’t have everything ready, aaahhh!), and… well… grr.  The sock seemed a bit small, so I tried it on.  It fits me perfectly.  Which wouldn’t be a problem if Karen didn’t have US 8.5 feet.  I’m a US 7.  Guess how well it’ll fit her.  Yah.  I’ve just CO another pair (yes, 2 at once) that I’m hoping to finish before I hop on that plane* next Wednesday.

Oh, well.  The Backstabber socks (yes, that’s the actual name of the colorway) are lovely and fit well, so I shouldn’t complain.  It all be okay.

But now it’s 9pm and I’ve got to finish my laundry before I crawl into bed.  Toodles until next time.

*Not the one to Tahiti, alas.

OMG, I ate a cow.

Okay, not so much.  Had Phở for dinner. I remember reading that Vietnamese cooks use almost the entire cow to make the fantastic beef broth. And, y’know, after eating a large bowl of the stuff… I almost feel like I just ate a cow.

Kinda want to act like a lion on the Savannah now, and go lay down under a tree for a couple of days.

Can’t do that though, cause I got stuff to do tonight.*

Let’s see, let’s see… the most important of the stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your birthday wishes and kind words this past week. This has been one of the better birthdays of the past 5 years, and I really appreciate your affection.

Coolest (un)birthday gift? My own KnitPurlzi!

DSC00488

Squee!!!**

Opus’ Dad made it for me (technically). We’ve commissioned several (beautifully) hand-turned knitting accessories to carry exclusively at the store.  He brought in the DPN case prototype for me to have and pet and use and abuse on my birthday.  How awesome was that?  He totally wins major brownie points for that.

For those of your with inquiring minds, it is based off of the Knitzi, but we’re going crazy with the exotic woods and hand-turning (once we get the design hammered out, so to speak).  The case is Black Walnut and the cap is spalted (I think) Maple.  Just awesome.  When I pulled it out to show it off at “No Mean Feet!”, I had to watch it closely.

IS.  MINE.

I also have to go and draw the Sockdown: October! prizes in a mo’ (big “thank you” to Debi for reminding me), but I thought I might mention that I did submit my Absinthe Socks for publication (friends can see really bad pictures here), just finished another pattern for the store and am working on another sock pattern that should be fun.  So, really, I wasn’t lying in my last post.  Ha!

In not-my-design knitting, we have a nearly-finished Skif on hand and a fully finished Ana Bandana.  Gotta make me another one of those.

But right now, I have to go and draw those prizes.  Otherwise I’ll have 5,000+ annoyed sock knitters after me…

* Not to mention I live in a temperate rainforest and it’s really wet on the ground right now, ick.
** Yes, I totally used three exclamation points. Report me to Terry Pratchett, if you dare.

So much trouble

I’d blame Opus, since she does tend to be a bad influence on me, but she wasn’t entirely responsible for our tour of the Pearl yesterday.  We met just before noon at Peet’s, and spent a couple of hours sketching out stitch patterns, showing off recent FOs, and winding a honking huge ball of ShibuiKnits Highland Wool Alpaca:

Monster Ball o' Yarn

(I don’t know what Opus is staring at there…)

I wish I could say I’d used a special lens or something to make it seem bigger, but it really is that big. If I’m lucky, and not insane (designing is a chancy business), this might just become a scarf.  We stopped by Knit Purl, where I snuck in and updated the website, and grabbed some needles for the Monster Ball O’ Yarn to be knit on.  I went down a needle size, which I’ll probably regret, but the size 13s looked like something Buffy would carry in her backpack.

From there we hit Anthropology (baaad idea) and moved onto lunch.  I love Noodles, it must be said, they didn’t care that we sat for at least an hour after lunch just knitting (and even wished us good luck with our socks when we left).  Businesses like that are in short supply.

From there wandered further into the Pearl in search of dessert and another place to perch ‘n’ knit and had to stop by 10,000 villages.  Since their garden entrance looked so pretty, it had to be photographed:

Walkway in the Pearl

Love them.  They have fair trade chocolate (among other wares).

Next on the list was Tanner Springs Park.  I was hoping to tickle the fish in the pond…

Pond

Only to be caught in a sudden downpour.  So unfair :P  Luckily, across the street is Dublin Bay, which is warm and dry and filled with wool.  Can’t be a bad place to duck into.  Unless, of course, you’re trying not to buy any more yarn until destashing a bit.

Oops?

As much as I liked several of the yarns there, none of them caught me, until I stumbled upon Fleece Artist’s Blue-faced Leicester 2/8 in “Ivory”, one of my favorite semi-solids…

splurges

With 1000m/ 250g, I think it’ll make a fantastic Icarus.  It’s so soft and spongy and lofty, it’s just perfect for a lace shawl.  Not that I’ll be casting it on anytime soon, admittedly, but it’s nice to have in the stash.

In other news?  I voted last night.  Got another Newsletter out on Friday night – had to stay until 8pm to get it done.  The local release of the November sock kit for local Club members is tomorrow (squee!  I finally get to play with the yarn I’ve been coveting for 6 months).  Bought a copy of “It Itches” and love it!  Franklin is always hilarious.  Aaand, Mom’s black socks (STR Ravencroft) are almost done, from which I have a few modifications to add to the pattern.  Yesterday’s knitting time was well-spent.  All I have left is the ribbing on the cuff.

Which I’d like to do today.  Ja ne!

when overtime is too much time

It’s so weird to be sitting here at home on a Wednesday morning, not getting ready for work or even working from home (it happens).  Taking a weekday off is throwing me off-kilter.  And I’m bored already.

Doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day, does it?  I suppose I could clean or something, once I finish answering all the emails I can find that I’ve been waiting to respond to.  I should mention that, should I actually find all the emails I wanted to reply to, I might be sitting with my laptop until midnight.  So, if you (kindly knitter/ reader/ friend) have recently emailed me with a question about a pattern/ my social life/ invading space monkeys that I didn’t respond to immediately, it was because I was too brain-dead to answer it at the time and knew it.  Please be patient with me, I have some emails dating to late September that I still haven’t answered.

And, yes, I feel guilty about that.

Moving on to something less heavy and a lot prettier, I have Seraphim photos!  Admittedly, I didn’t take them and I’m certainly not the model, but I knit the darned thing, so I’m claiming some credit.  3M and Lindsay (both coworkers) and I all spent the better part of an hour yesterday taking artistic photos for the store.  My job was to hold the reflector, bodily reposition Lindsay (3M wouldn’t touch her), and arrange the knitwear.  Lots of fun, really.  I dragged them to Tanner Springs Park – my favorite public park in the Pearl and it’s only a 5 minute ride on the Streetcar from the store.   (Okay, the photos on that page don’t do the park justice, see these.)

I also showed Lindsay and 3M (while we were setting up the camera and reflector, honest) how to tickle the fish.  Always fun.

I have to say Lindsay was a very good sport about being constantly repositioned and rearranged,  but I think everyone at the store will agree the time was well-spent.  We’ll be using at least one of these below for publicizing Miriam Felton’s upcoming visit…

Seraphim wingspan

Seraphim sassy

Seraphim wrapped

Seraphim poised

Project specs?  Let’s see:

  • Pattern: Seraphim Shawl by Miriam L. Felton
  • Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm (I used 24″, 32″ and 47″ Addi Turbo’s)
  • Yarn: just over 2 skeins of Knit Purl’s The Natural Collection (382 yards per 100g skein), hand-dyed with natural dyes by Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks.
  • Pattern mods: none.
  • Blocked it with blocking wires and foam board (definitely recommend this technique!)

And, if you’re really bored, there are more photos here.

Back to Miriam.  I’m really excited (and signed up for the Introduction to Lace Design workshop) about her coming to Portland and already have a sketch of the shawl I want to make.  It’s going to be awesome (the workshop, not necessarily the shawl – I know not to tempt the Fates).  All I have to do is choose the yarn from my stash, which is going to difficult, since half of it is meant for something else.  Er.  And because I really want to knit Icarus now (always have) and need to allot that some yarn, too.  My comfort room with the lace yarn in the stash is diminishing, since I have more projects queued than I have yarn.  Not a good ratio.

But entirely irrelevant, for the time being.  I still have to finish 3 sweaters, 2 cowls, 1 snood and Heaven knows what else.  Which means that I need to stop typing this, answer my emails and get knitting.  Maybe it’s time for another Lord of the Rings marathon, or something.

Oh, and if you’ve seen my camera, please let me know!

shades of green

I can’t believe it’s Sunday already, but time seems to be moving faster and faster these days. Yesterday, I went with Opus on a little outing to Cartlon. To visit Woodland Woolworks. I’m slowly progressing on my Seraphim shawl, and desperately need blocking wires. Luckily, they had them in stock (no, I didn’t call ahead), so I can block the shawl when the time comes.

Which will hopefully be before Miriam Felton arrives for her upcoming lace workshops, since we’re hoping to set up a display of lace garments to show off her designs.

And, because I’m teaching a class on handspinning in November (the same time as Miriam’s visit, actually), I’ve been stocking up on handspun yarn for both display and teaching purposes:

chartreuse handspun

Above is 4oz of Blue-faced Leicester, dyed by Abstract Fiber in the color “Chartreuse”. I think it’s a sport weight (haven’t checked the yardage yet), and should be destined for something lovely… eventually.

I have so many designs in my head, it’s getting a little distracting.

Anyway.  Just looked at the clock – 10:30 pm!  Have to go to bed now, gotta go to work early tomorrow.  Before I climb into bed, here’s a photo of Laurelhurst Park I took this afternoon:

Laurelhurst tree

Cheers!